Did someone close to the BAU create Gold Star? (Criminal Minds: Evolution theory)

With Criminal Minds: Evolution getting closer to the end of the season, the final push to find Gold Star is afoot. Who could be behind the mystery? We have a theory!
Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds: Evolution, episode 6, season 17 streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+
Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds: Evolution, episode 6, season 17 streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+ /

As Criminal Minds: Evolution continues to sort out the puzzle that is Gold Star, and now with the addition of North Star, there are so many possible connections to make to figure out who is behind the creation of the program and how it led to the current situation the team is in with Elias Voit.

In season 2, episode 6, "Message in a Bottle," Rossi broke through his PTSD associated with Voit in order to remember a critical piece to the mystery behind Gold Star. He recalled that years prior, he and Gideon had written a paper about what could happen to children who grew up in bad environments at home. 

They were asked to write about how at-risk youth could be found after they had gone through a history of family violence. Then they could be evaluated to determine whether there was psychopathy related to what they experienced in their lives.

Due to the paper sounding like a recipe for how to find these kids, it was scrapped. Someone could have used the idea in order to make this experiment actually happen.

Unfortunately, it appears someone did just that. They somehow managed to discover this paper, written by members of the BAU themselves decades before, to create a program under the guise of being a home that would help troubled kids.

Elias Voit appeared to know about Gold Star in talking to Damien, and while he claimed that the new phrase “North Star,” was just a means to lead Damien down a wild goose chase, it appeared to be based in reality. In fact, “North Star” was specifically about the people who would be the origin of how the kids came to be chosen.

So if North Star is code for the people who bred the kids into killers, then who put it together? Dave and Gideon may have written it, but obviously neither man was involved since they decided to put the paper away due to its content.

One possible theory is this could involve Gideon’s ex-wife, Dr. Jill Gideon (played by Felicity Huffman), who works as a psychiatrist. She is set to appear in the last few episodes of the season. She is also connected to Rossi, so we might get to find out about their past as well. Is it possible that she somehow knows more about Gold Star than anyone realizes? Could she have started the program?

Even if this theory doesn’t pan out, it could also mean she could be an eventual target of Damien and Jade’s, especially if she were somehow connected to Stuart House due to her line of work. However, two members involved are still missing in action so it's possible they could be after her, too.

Of course, it could be a red herring as well, since Sebastian Gasper used the word “they” when talking about the people who wanted him to stop Tyler from doing anymore digging. So we may have other players involved who we haven't met yet. But however it happens, we're excited to see where the case takes the team and what else Voit has in store for the BAU.

However things play out, this has been such an interesting case full of twists and turns. We’re looking forward to seeing how the hunt for Gold Star continues to unfold and what affect the case could have on the team further down the line.

New episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution stream Thursdays on Paramount+.